As summer winds to a close, the seasons begin to change, and Microsoft begins deployment of what’s known as the 2020 “Wave 2” release of Dynamics 365 Business Central. We’ve been working away testing all the new shiny toys Microsoft has given us in the new release and here's what we're excited about.
This update is chock-full of proverbial goodies that are built to save time and improve the user experience. Everything from continuing performance upgrades to large game changing features and everything in between, this update doesn’t hold back. In this post I’ll be covering two big “meat and potatoes” features that have been added and my colleague Paula has a great article on some of the smaller Quality of Life improvements here.
The two new features that I’ve wanted for so long have finally been introduced. There’s now live, active error checking when preparing General Journals and also a new Posted General Journal page that provides a plethora of information and functionality to help save you time.
Automation is the Future
With automated error checking the future is now. This feature is sure to be a huge help for any Accountant or Bookkeeper involved with preparing journal entries. While you’re preparing your journal entry lines, the system will actively check for errors and inform the preparer of any errors it identifies. There’s no better way to show this feature off other than jumping right into an example.
As you can see above, I’ve prepared a simple General Journal, you may see some errors at a glance but instead of manually trying to determine what’s wrong or continuously testing these entries we can instead let Business Central do all the heavy lifting.
What’s now included is a fact box called “Journal Check” that provides high level detail about all the lines as well as specific detail for the current line I’ve selected. I can also click on the “Issues Total” card and it will show me all the current errors for my entries.
As you can see, I have a few errors, for one my document numbers are out of balance and two (much less evident) I forgot to input a dimension code.
Even further I can then filter out the correct lines and request that only the lines with errors are shown. This is highly valuable when you have a large amount of lines that you are trying to prepare and need to drill down to find where those pesky errors are hiding.
I can then make any changes as required and with the wave of Dynamics 365’s magic wand the fact box will keep checking and updating as I fix those errors. Once addressed, the “Issues Total” card will have a reassuring green highlight indicating there are no lines with active issues.
Where Does it all Go?
Now that our error free journal entries have been successfully posted, the next question most have is “Well, where did it go?”. General journals in the past have had a layer of mystery about them, while they are posted to the general ledger and you can view the general ledger, if you wanted more information it wasn’t served up in the most fashionable manner. That has been completely revamped in Wave 2 with the addition of the “Posted General Journal” page and let me tell you, tracking your posted journals has never been easier.
From this new page it’s easier than ever before to get a historical view of posted general journals. Each journal batch is assigned a Register No. making it as easy as ever for you to track what journal entry lines were posted together. This is very useful if you have a large journal batch that had various document numbers and accounts.
The functionality of this page goes beyond just being a repository of historical information. There are three highly useful functions that can be run.
1. Copy Selected Lines to Journal
When we run this function, what will happen is that any line or lines we have selected can then be copied to a General Journal.
A box will pop up allowing us to select the relevant template and batch we would like to use (along with document no., posting date) and if we would like to reverse that line (versus simply recreating it) there is a toggle for that as well. This is useful when we have multiple lines that have different Register Numbers and when only part of a Register needs to be reversed or posted again.
2. Copy G/L Register to Journal
What can also be done is to copy an entire Register No. to a Journal. Similarly, to above we can specify a number of settings including the template, batch, posting date, document no. and if we would like to reverse the sign on each of the lines. Say for example we made a mistake with our previous example above and we wanted to reverse the entire journal. We could run this function with the correct settings indicating that we would like to reverse the sign:
And if we go to view the General Journal, we can then see that the entries have been prepared and it’s ready to be reversed:
Specific use case:
3. Find Entries
Running this function on a line will bring up a list that shows you where the line has been posted. In this case we can see that the line was posted to the general ledger and also the newly created posted general journal page which we’re looking at now.
That concludes the quick look at two of my favorite changes coming in Wave 2. While there’s quite a few other improvements I believe these two will help anyone involved in preparing and reviewing journal entries the most. In the future we can only expect to see even more exciting changes from Microsoft as they continue to implement features recommended by the community of users and developers.
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